It seems Apple’s problematic new Maps app was discouraging a lot of people from upgrading to iOS 6, the Cupertino company’s latest software. But now that Google Maps is official available as a native iOS app, there’s nothing to stop users from finally performing the upgrade. In fact, its arrival boosted iOS 6 adoption by 29%.
The data comes from mobile ad exchange MoPub, which reports that through the 12,000 apps it supports, it saw a 29% increase in unique iOS users in the five days after Google Maps hit the App Store. There was a 13% increase in iOS 6 adoption from last Monday to Wednesday, suggesting a lot of users upgraded as soon as Google Maps had arrived. The rest waited until the weekend.
MoPub CEO explained to TechCrunch: “we observed since the launch of Google Maps for iOS 6 a 30 percent increase in unique iOS 6 users, and we think it’s related to Google Maps. It verifies the hypothesis that people were actually holding back to upgrade until Google Maps was available.”
Another ad network, Chitika, reported earlier this week that Google Maps made little difference (0.2%) to iOS 6 growth. However, its data only covered a 24-hour period, while many made the switch days later. What’s more, MoPub’s 12,000 apps and a dozen ad networks monitor more than 1 billion ad impressions a day, making its data set more reliable.
Google Maps has clearly had a massive impact on iOS, with more than 10 million downloads during its first 48 hours of availability. That’s likely to be a little embarrassing for Apple, which would have been hoping users would stick to its own Maps app. But even so, the company will surely appreciate the boost to iOS 6 adoption.
There are a number of benefits to this, of course, including less fragmentation for developers, more people using Siri, and Apple’s IdentifierForAdvertising (IFA) feature, which replaces the old UDID system.